Bondar Wines are a little family wine company making wines from regions McLaren Vale and Adelaide Hills. Home is the iconic Rayner Vineyard in McLaren Vale. They commit to making wines that are lighter, brighter, more savoury, structured and intriguing. Different.
Andre Bondar began life in the wine industry in 2001 and after vintages around the world and Australia spent most of his winemaking career at Nepenthe in the Adelaide Hills. After a couple of years at Mitolo to 'learn as much as I could about McLaren Vale vineyards', Andre and his wife Selina decided to embark on their own adventure; masters of their own destiny. Andre's major influences come from his time working with Adelaide Hills fruit as senior winemaker at Nepenthe wines, and his time in the Northern Rhone, France at Domaine Allain Graillot.
Bondar wines began its life in March 2012, when Andre, Selina and a small group of their family and friends hand-picked a couple of tonnes of Shiraz grapes for their first ever wine. It was a beautiful, calm, warm summer's evening, and when the sun went down the McLaren Vale sky lit up with one of the most spectacularly beautiful sunsets any of us had ever seen. The Violet Hour Shiraz is named in its honour.
The story behind the name is a simple one, it's Andre and Selina's surname. And while it has been said that naming your wine brand with your surname is a marketing cop-out, for Andre and Selina it actually is a testament to the integrity behind the wines they make. "To use your surname means that your wines must stack up" says Andre. "I would never want to put my name on a bottle that I didn't believe in 100%".
And funnily enough, the name Bondar actually has a strong connection with the winemaking game, being the Polish and Ukranian name for Cooper, or barrel-maker. The logo references this with its barrel shaped curve. The pine tree is taken from the flag of the town in Poland where Andre's grandfather lived before fleeing to Australia as a WWII refugee. Andre and Selina do not have any family history in winemaking or vineyards, but they have sought it out as their own passion. Like the pine, they may not be natives but they have now found their home in McLaren Vale.
Tilley's Wines discovered Bondar Wines through friends John and Kathy Mitchell who introduced us to Andre, Kathy's cousin. We love discovering people through personal recommendations and respect and enjoy working with small family businesses (and those who think their surnames make good business names!). Our first shipment of wine from Bondar Wines arrived a week before Christmas 2015 - here's to a great wine connection.